Who knew it would be so complicated? Not me, a first-time mom at 40. I was ready to start potty training my daughter not long after she turned two years old. Assuming that was the perfect age to start, but as we all learn soon enough, not all children are the same. She flat-out refused to use the potty seat we bought her. We even had a cute little foot stool for her to step up to the toilet on. I tried giving her m&ms as a treat for using the potty, even just to sit on it. Nothing was working. After talking to friends, I came to the conclusion she was not ready to be potty trained. We waited a few months and decided to try buying a toddler potty chair. We let her pick it out at Walmart, and talked to her about learning to use the potty chair. She seemed excited. But, when it came to sitting on the chair and trying to pee, she was not doing it. Finally, she turned three years old. I was ready and I knew she had the skills to use the potty. She understands what it is, she can pull her pants up and down, all the little things that potty training requires. So, I did some hard research on it. There is a lot of stuff out there! Potty training in one day, I wish! I read up on everything. I discovered one of the main things a toddler needs is visual stimulation. I liked the idea of using a baby doll and baby potty chair to show her how it works, but I did not have either of those things. And, living in the boonies, I can’t just run to town and buy one.
The next best thing was charts, stickers, and YouTube. I went searching for potty charts online. There are lots out there that are free to print. I got some great ideas and created my own potty charts. When you open these documents on your computer, you can edit the name on them, or even the images.
I used images from her favorite shows, like “Paw Patrol” and “Frozen”. Then I bought stickers I knew she would like, “Cars’, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, etc. We had a big discussion about it on Thursday after I picked her up from daycare. I explained that we were not buying diapers anymore and that she was going to start wearing big girl panties from now on. (I had read to just get rid of diapers completely, don’t go back for any reason, like long trips, night time, etc). I had one package of toddler panties and bought another package. I decided I wanted to do training panties, instead of just panties because I knew there would be lots of accidents and I did not want puddles on my carpet and furniture. Well, once again, no training panties to be found in our small town. So, I decided to make my own. I had several cloth diaper inserts, so I decided I would use them to make training panties. And guess what, there are instructions all over the internet on how to make your own training panties. I decided I would create my own little tutorial.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post for my personal tips on our potty training experience.
My supplies were toddler panties and slightly used diaper inserts. Of course, you will also need your sewing machine, scissors, and thread.
First, I took one pair of panties out and placed the diaper inserts inside to measure how much to cut off. You are going to lay it in the panties like you would place a maxi pad in your own panties. I then took a marker and lined out the excess I need to cut out.
Next, simply cut out your excess padding. I then did a zig zag stitch around the edges I cut out, to prevent fraying in the wash.
Next, I lined the diaper insert back to the inside of the panties, pinned it, then sewed it together with a regular straight stitch.
Our potty training experience has gone really well with peeing in the potty, but we have had major issues with pooping on the potty! I plan on posting about our trials and errors in that area, as soon as we get things resolved. In my research, it may take months!
Here are a few things we did, that has made potty training (peeing) pretty successful.
- For the first few days, I set a timer on my phone for every 20 minutes. When the timer went off, we would sit on the potty and try to pee or poop. If she peed, she would get 1 sticker to put on her chart. If she pooped, she got 2 stickers (this did not happen much at all!). She did great at peeing though!!
- A few times she did not want to go pee, so I told her we would race to the bathroom, that helped a lot.
- I did a happy dance and praised her lots when she peed in the potty.
- Her daddy found potty training videos on YouTube, and they watched them together.
- If she had an accident, that was ok, because accidents happen. The potty training panties made clean up much easier. She rarely got urine on anything besides her panties and the pants she was wearing. She did not have many accidents. She picked it up pretty quickly!
- After we quit using the timer, we asked her several times a day if she needed to potty. She was usually quick at volunteering that she needed to potty.
- When the potty chart was full, she got to get in her “treasure chest”: Her treasure chest was just a cardboard box with a few little items in it. Like small puzzles, stickers, books, and bubbles, mostly things you could get at the dollar store.
What are your experiences with potty training? Do you have any great tips?
**Update** We are currently potty trained! We only use the training panties at night, just in case she has an accident.